The Church Is Here: Tokyo, Japan
January 2019

“The Church Is Here: Tokyo, Japan,” Ensign, January 2019

The Church Is Here

Tokyo, Japan

Japanese family at a cemetery

At the Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo, Japan, a Latter-day Saint family, the Saitōs, visit their family memorial. For them it is a place of remembering, made all the more sacred because of their gospel knowledge that families can be together forever.

Respect for family and ancestors is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, and Japanese Latter-day Saints rejoice that their nation is now blessed with three temples: Tokyo (the first in Asia, dedicated in 1980 and currently under renovation), Fukuoka (dedicated in 2000), and Sapporo (dedicated in 2016). Japan is also home to 64 LDS family history centers.

Missionaries first arrived in Japan in 1901, led by Elder Heber J. Grant (1856–1945), then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later seventh President of the Church. Today there are nearly 130,000 members in Japan in 261 congregations.

  • The first translation of the Book of Mormon into Japanese took five years and was completed in 1909. A revised translation was published in 1957.

  • The first LDS meetinghouse in Asia was dedicated in Japan in 1964.

  • General Authorities of Japanese descent include Adney Y. Komatsu (1923–2011), born in Hawaii; Sam K. Shimabukuro (1925–2015), born in Hawaii; Yoshihiko Kikuchi, emeritus; Koichi Aoyagi, emeritus; Takashi Wada; and Kazuhiko Yamashita.